Leadership Team

Talent and Diversity

The talent, expertise, commitment and diversity of our leadership is one of our greatest strengths.

Their principles enable us to navigate the complexities of modern healthcare delivery without ever losing sight of the reason for our existence: To make healthcare a fundamental right available to all.

Founded by Service

Since 1972, our leaders have been dedicated to bringing our communities the services that they lack. From one dental chair in Middletown to over 200 locations across the state, their passion for service remains strong and is critical to our success.

This passion combined with a drive for innovation and excellence steers our teams to high-quality service for our patients.

Mark Masselli

Founder, President, and CEO

Margaret Flinter, PhD, APRN

Senior Vice President and Clinical Director

Mark Masselli: Founder

Along with a small group of Wesleyan University students and community activists, Mark Masselli founded CHC as a Free Clinic in 1972 and worked with the National Free Clinic Council based in San Francisco in promoting the development of free clinics across America.

Like most free clinics of its time, CHC’s early days saw limited public support, as community-organized health services were strongly opposed by the medical community and received little in the way of governmental support. With a personal commitment that healthcare is a right and not a privilege, Mark brought an entrepreneurial spirit to his non-profit organization, building a network of CHC sites that met the highest standard in both care and environment, to respect the dignity of those they serve.

Community leader and contributor

Mark has played an important leadership role as a founding member of many health and human services initiatives in Middletown, including New Horizons Battered Women’s Shelter, Nehemiah Housing Corporation, and Oddfellows Youth Playhouse.

In addition to local issues, Mark has worked on a range of international human rights issues. He has worked with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has traveled in Tibet, Nepal, India and China working on the issues facing the Tibetan people. He also was active in the 1980’s on the development of the Bishop Tutu Refugee relief agency during the critical years fighting the apartheid system in South Africa.

Other involvements

  • Chair of the Board of ConferMED and NIMAA (the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement)
  • Board Member for the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Program (NNPRFTC)
  • Vice President of the Goodspeed Opera House.
  • Member of the Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight and representative of the business community with experience in cost efficiency management.
  • Service to a standing subcommittee to study and make annual recommendations on evidence-based best practices concerning Medicaid cost savings.
  • Honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by Wesleyan University in 2009 for his work in the healthcare field.
Follow Mark:
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Margaret Flinter: Clinical leader

Margaret Flinter is Senior Vice President and Clinical Director of the Community Health Center, Inc. and is a family nurse practitioner by profession. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Connecticut, her Master’s Degree from Yale University, and her doctoral degree at the University of Connecticut. She was the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship from 2002-2005.

CHC’s first nurse practitioner

Following her graduate training at Yale University, Margaret joined the Community Health Center in 1980 as a National Health Service Corps Scholar and CHC’s first nurse practitioner. Since 1987 she has held both clinical and administrative leadership roles in the organization and established the Weitzman Center for Innovation in Community Health and Primary Care as the “research and development” arm of CHC. She serves as the Director Emeritus of the Weitzman Institute. Margaret is also the founder of America’s first nurse practitioner residency program that operates out of the Community Health Center. It is a national model for nurse practitioner preparation for service in primary care environments. She is the Chair of the Board for the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium.
Follow Margaret:
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Daren Anderson, MD

Chief Quality Officer

Tichianaa Armah, MD

Medical Director of Psychiatry and VP of Behavioral Health

Daren Anderson, MD

Dr. Daren Anderson is a general internist and has worked in safety net practices for his entire career. He is VP/Chief Quality Officer of Community Health Center, Inc., a large, multisite community health center providing primary care to over 145,000 medically underserved patients across Connecticut. In addition, Dr. Anderson is the Director of CHCI’s Weitzman Institute, a research and innovations center dedicated to improving primary care for underserved populations.  The Weitzman Institute leads a range of initiatives focused on practice transformation and workforce development and has created an eConsult process that is now being used across Connecticut and in ten additional states. In addition, Weitzman researchers are engaged in a range of research projects focused on health disparities, telehealth, and pain and opioid abuse treatment in primary care.

Dr. Anderson obtained his undergraduate degree at Harvard College and his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Dr. Tichianaa Armah, a Bronx, NY native, graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in psychology and received her Medical Degree from the University of Rochester, the home of the Biopsychosocial model of health care. In her final year of residency at the Yale School of Medicine, she was the American Psychiatric Association Minority Fellow while serving as the chief resident of the Hispanic Clinic at the Community Mental Health Center.  Dr. Armah is the Psychiatry Medical Director and Vice President of Behavioral Health at the Community Health Center Inc. She is driven to increase access to quality mental health care for our most vulnerable populationsTo achieve these goals Dr. Armah's mission is twofold: community engagement and training the next generation in the mental health field with an integrated approach in primary care settings.  Wellness and mental health in all communities has been an important element of her work since the early years of her training. Concern for particularly disadvantaged communities bearing the greater burden of disease, including African Americans and Latino populations, led her to be one of the early organizers of the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry's Social Justice and Health Equity curriculum. She remains an Assistant Clinical Professor in the department. Beginning in medical school, she facilitated workshops incorporating physical and mental well-being through approaching lifestyle change, with lectures, exercise, and cooking lessons at a local church for the members. She continues to approach her local communities and patients with her fundamental value of overall well-being as key to mental health, believing strongly that medication alone is rarely the solution. She can frequently be found in schools and churches talking about the mental health field to encourage more underrepresented minorities to enter the field.  Her most recent efforts also includes increasing access to psychiatry through tele-psychiatry services from experienced mental health professionals. 

She was recently honored by the Connecticut Psychiatric Society with the Roger Coleman Memorial Award for her exemplary devotion to patients and commitment to quality care.

Mark Masselli: Founder

Along with a small group of Wesleyan University students and community activists, Mark Masselli founded CHC as a Free Clinic in 1972 and worked with the National Free Clinic Council based in San Francisco in promoting the development of free clinics across America.

Like most free clinics of its time, CHC’s early days saw limited public support, as community-organized health services were strongly opposed by the medical community and received little in the way of governmental support. With a personal commitment that healthcare is a right and not a privilege, Mark brought an entrepreneurial spirit to his non-profit organization, building a network of CHC sites that met the highest standard in both care and environment, to respect the dignity of those they serve.

Community leader and contributor

Mark has played an important leadership role as a founding member of many health and human services initiatives in Middletown, including New Horizons Battered Women’s Shelter, Nehemiah Housing Corporation, and Oddfellows Youth Playhouse.

In addition to local issues, Mark has worked on a range of international human rights issues. He has worked with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has traveled in Tibet, Nepal, India and China working on the issues facing the Tibetan people. He also was active in the 1980’s on the development of the Bishop Tutu Refugee relief agency during the critical years fighting the apartheid system in South Africa.

Other involvements

  • Chair of the Board of ConferMED and NIMAA (the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement)
  • Board Member for the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Program (NNPRFTC)
  • Vice President of the Goodspeed Opera House.
  • Member of the Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight and representative of the business community with experience in cost efficiency management.
  • Service to a standing subcommittee to study and make annual recommendations on evidence-based best practices concerning Medicaid cost savings.
  • Honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by Wesleyan University in 2009 for his work in the healthcare field.
Follow Mark:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Margaret Flinter: Clinical leader

Margaret Flinter is Senior Vice President and Clinical Director of the Community Health Center, Inc. and is a family nurse practitioner by profession. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Connecticut, her Master’s Degree from Yale University, and her doctoral degree at the University of Connecticut. She was the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship from 2002-2005.

CHC’s first nurse practitioner

Following her graduate training at Yale University, Margaret joined the Community Health Center in 1980 as a National Health Service Corps Scholar and CHC’s first nurse practitioner. Since 1987 she has held both clinical and administrative leadership roles in the organization and established the Weitzman Center for Innovation in Community Health and Primary Care as the “research and development” arm of CHC. She serves as the Director Emeritus of the Weitzman Institute. Margaret is also the founder of America’s first nurse practitioner residency program that operates out of the Community Health Center. It is a national model for nurse practitioner preparation for service in primary care environments. She is the Chair of the Board for the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium.
Follow Margaret:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Daren Anderson, MD

Dr. Daren Anderson is a general internist and has worked in safety net practices for his entire career. He is VP/Chief Quality Officer of Community Health Center, Inc., a large, multisite community health center providing primary care to over 145,000 medically underserved patients across Connecticut. In addition, Dr. Anderson is the Director of CHCI’s Weitzman Institute, a research and innovations center dedicated to improving primary care for underserved populations.  The Weitzman Institute leads a range of initiatives focused on practice transformation and workforce development and has created an eConsult process that is now being used across Connecticut and in ten additional states. In addition, Weitzman researchers are engaged in a range of research projects focused on health disparities, telehealth, and pain and opioid abuse treatment in primary care.

Dr. Anderson obtained his undergraduate degree at Harvard College and his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Dr. Tichianaa Armah, a Bronx, NY native, graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in psychology and received her Medical Degree from the University of Rochester, the home of the Biopsychosocial model of health care. In her final year of residency at the Yale School of Medicine, she was the American Psychiatric Association Minority Fellow while serving as the chief resident of the Hispanic Clinic at the Community Mental Health Center.  Dr. Armah is the Psychiatry Medical Director and Vice President of Behavioral Health at the Community Health Center Inc. She is driven to increase access to quality mental health care for our most vulnerable populationsTo achieve these goals Dr. Armah's mission is twofold: community engagement and training the next generation in the mental health field with an integrated approach in primary care settings.  Wellness and mental health in all communities has been an important element of her work since the early years of her training. Concern for particularly disadvantaged communities bearing the greater burden of disease, including African Americans and Latino populations, led her to be one of the early organizers of the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry's Social Justice and Health Equity curriculum. She remains an Assistant Clinical Professor in the department. Beginning in medical school, she facilitated workshops incorporating physical and mental well-being through approaching lifestyle change, with lectures, exercise, and cooking lessons at a local church for the members. She continues to approach her local communities and patients with her fundamental value of overall well-being as key to mental health, believing strongly that medication alone is rarely the solution. She can frequently be found in schools and churches talking about the mental health field to encourage more underrepresented minorities to enter the field.  Her most recent efforts also includes increasing access to psychiatry through tele-psychiatry services from experienced mental health professionals. 

She was recently honored by the Connecticut Psychiatric Society with the Roger Coleman Memorial Award for her exemplary devotion to patients and commitment to quality care.

Karen L. Ashley, EdD

Director of Education

Edward Bianco, MBA

Chief Information Officer

Karen L. Ashley, EdD

As Director of Education for the Weitzman Institute, Dr. Ashley is responsible for providing leadership and supporting the growth and development of the Weitzman Institute’s diverse educational programs. Dr. Ashley has focused her career on adult education in health and health care, whether in academic or non-profit settings. Her areas of expertise include curriculum design and development, accreditation, faculty development, instructional design, and evaluation. Prior to joining CHC, Dr. Ashley was the Associate Director of Education at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice at Dartmouth College, where she oversaw its MPH, MS, and PhD programs. While at Dartmouth, Dr. Ashley was also the Principal Investigator for a CDC/PEPFAR project in partnership with Boston University’s School of Public Health, and Muhimbili University’s School of Public Health (in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) to redesign Muhimbili’s public health curriculum and offer faculty development seminars. The goal of this nine-year project was to increase the number of public health workers in the field to address HIV/AIDS in Tanzania.

Prior to joining Dartmouth, Karen served as Director of Education for the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, providing continuing education for hospice and end-of-life care providers and volunteers for hospice agencies across North and South Carolina. Before that, she worked with the Northeast Tennessee Area Health Education Center through East Tennessee State University, coordinating continuing education for medical and other health care professionals in 13 counties in Tennessee. Karen completed her EdD in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix, MEd in Health Education from the University of Tennessee, and BS in Health and Sport Science from Wake Forest University.

Ed Bianco is the Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at Community Health Center, Inc. Prior to joining CHC, Ed worked as the Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at American Renal Associates. He earned his MBA at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and his bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management from Lesley College. He has also completed the Executive Education Program at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Joseph Blackburn

Vice President of Human Resources

Mary Blankson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Chief Nursing Officer

Joseph Blackburn

Joseph Blackburn serves as Vice President of Human Resources at Community Health Center, Inc. Joe has more than 15 years of diverse HR experience, most recently as a Human Resources Director at Ridgefield’s Boehringer Ingelheim. He previously held senior HR roles at Pepsico and General Electric. Joe received a BA in history and an MS in Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University, where he played Division I hockey and was named a first team All-American.

Mary Blankson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Mary Blankson DNP, APRN, FNP-C is the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Community Health Center, Inc., overseeing diverse nursing services across the CHC network, including primary care, health care for the homeless, and school based health services. As CNO she ensures the quality and expansion of nursing services, the development of nursing policy, and continuing nurse education. Mary also works collaboratively to ensure Joint Commission and Patient Centered Medical Home compliance throughout CHC.

Building upon her service in various mission organizations, Mary continued to develop her passion for meeting the needs of the underserved by earning her MSN at Yale University in 2005. Mary joined CHC as a family nurse practitioner shortly after graduation. While at CHC, Mary has served as the On-Site Medical Director of the New London County Sites, the Vice President of the Medical Staff, the Chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, and has served as a preceptor for CHC’s Nurse Practitioner Residency Program. She completed her DNP education at Johns Hopkins University in 2015 with her capstone focusing on “Increasing Identification and Treatment Referral of Individuals with Hepatitis C (HCV) in the Primary Care Setting Through Clinical Dashboards.” Mary is certified and holds professional membership in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She continues to support various quality improvement projects throughout the agency to increase the visibility of nursing’s contribution to the Medical Home.

Karen L. Ashley, EdD

As Director of Education for the Weitzman Institute, Dr. Ashley is responsible for providing leadership and supporting the growth and development of the Weitzman Institute’s diverse educational programs. Dr. Ashley has focused her career on adult education in health and health care, whether in academic or non-profit settings. Her areas of expertise include curriculum design and development, accreditation, faculty development, instructional design, and evaluation. Prior to joining CHC, Dr. Ashley was the Associate Director of Education at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice at Dartmouth College, where she oversaw its MPH, MS, and PhD programs. While at Dartmouth, Dr. Ashley was also the Principal Investigator for a CDC/PEPFAR project in partnership with Boston University’s School of Public Health, and Muhimbili University’s School of Public Health (in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) to redesign Muhimbili’s public health curriculum and offer faculty development seminars. The goal of this nine-year project was to increase the number of public health workers in the field to address HIV/AIDS in Tanzania.

Prior to joining Dartmouth, Karen served as Director of Education for the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, providing continuing education for hospice and end-of-life care providers and volunteers for hospice agencies across North and South Carolina. Before that, she worked with the Northeast Tennessee Area Health Education Center through East Tennessee State University, coordinating continuing education for medical and other health care professionals in 13 counties in Tennessee. Karen completed her EdD in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix, MEd in Health Education from the University of Tennessee, and BS in Health and Sport Science from Wake Forest University.

Ed Bianco is the Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at Community Health Center, Inc. Prior to joining CHC, Ed worked as the Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at American Renal Associates. He earned his MBA at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and his bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management from Lesley College. He has also completed the Executive Education Program at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Joseph Blackburn

Joseph Blackburn serves as Vice President of Human Resources at Community Health Center, Inc. Joe has more than 15 years of diverse HR experience, most recently as a Human Resources Director at Ridgefield’s Boehringer Ingelheim. He previously held senior HR roles at Pepsico and General Electric. Joe received a BA in history and an MS in Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University, where he played Division I hockey and was named a first team All-American.

Mary Blankson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Mary Blankson DNP, APRN, FNP-C is the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Community Health Center, Inc., overseeing diverse nursing services across the CHC network, including primary care, health care for the homeless, and school based health services. As CNO she ensures the quality and expansion of nursing services, the development of nursing policy, and continuing nurse education. Mary also works collaboratively to ensure Joint Commission and Patient Centered Medical Home compliance throughout CHC.

Building upon her service in various mission organizations, Mary continued to develop her passion for meeting the needs of the underserved by earning her MSN at Yale University in 2005. Mary joined CHC as a family nurse practitioner shortly after graduation. While at CHC, Mary has served as the On-Site Medical Director of the New London County Sites, the Vice President of the Medical Staff, the Chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, and has served as a preceptor for CHC’s Nurse Practitioner Residency Program. She completed her DNP education at Johns Hopkins University in 2015 with her capstone focusing on “Increasing Identification and Treatment Referral of Individuals with Hepatitis C (HCV) in the Primary Care Setting Through Clinical Dashboards.” Mary is certified and holds professional membership in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She continues to support various quality improvement projects throughout the agency to increase the visibility of nursing’s contribution to the Medical Home.

Robert Block, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Dena M. Castricone, JD, CIPP/US, CIPM

General Counsel and Chief of Privacy

Robert Block, CPA

Robert Block, CPA is the Chief Financial Officer of Community Health Center, Inc. In this role, Bob is responsible for all CHC financial operations, revenue cycle, supply chain, payroll and treasury services.

Bob brings over 30 years of experience in finance, accounting, and operations. He previously served as Vice President of Finance at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Chief Financial Officer of the Jewish Home for the Aged, Chief Administrative Officer at the APT Foundation, Director of Finance at American Medical Response, Manager: Budget and Finance at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and CEO of The AuctionBlocks (a company he founded and ran for ten years).

Bob obtained his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in Public Policy from the Graduate School of Fine Arts of the University of Pennsylvania. Bob was Controller of a behavioral health research group (Center for the Study of Adult Development, later Integra Inc.) during his final four years at Penn. He subsequently earned his CPA license at Arthur Young and Company (currently Ernst & Young).Bob is an avid skier and golfer, as well as an antique collector. He has written eight books for Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and appeared on numerous radio and television programs including Martha Stuart Living and Storage Wars.

Dena M. Castricone, JD, CIPP/US, CIPM

Dena M. Castricone, JD, CIPP/US, CIPM joined Community Health Center, Inc. as General Counsel and Chief of Privacy following her time as partner at Murtha Cullina LLP, practicing in areas of health care and privacy. Prior to joining Murtha Cullina LLP in 2003, she clerked for the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

Dena brings more than 15 years of private practice experience to the Community Health Center.  Throughout her career, she has counseled health care providers on a broad range of regulatory compliance, risk management and day-to-day operational issues as well as represented providers in court and before state and federal administrative agencies.  Further, with an extensive background in privacy and cybersecurity, she has substantial experience navigating the privacy challenges in health care, including HIPAA compliance. 

The National Law Review recognized Dena as a “Go-To Thought Leader” in 2018 in the area of privacy and cyber security.  In 2016, she received the Alumni Public Interest Champion of Justice Award from the Roger Williams University School of Law and was also named a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation.  In addition to other awards and recognition, in 2011, Connecticut Magazine named Dena one of Connecticut’s 40 Under 40 and the National LGBT Bar Association recognized her as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40.

In 2015, Dena was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Office of State Ethics’ Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, of which she currently serves as the Chair.  In addition, Dena also is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, where she is a member of the Opioid Abuse Task Force, and the International Association of Privacy Professionals. 

Ho-Choong Chang, MD

Chief of Pediatrics

Veena Channamsetty, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Ho-Choong Chang, MD

Dr. Ho-Choong Chang is the Chief of Pediatrics of Community Health Center, Inc., the state’s largest Federally Qualified Health center providing care to over 145,000 medically underserved patients, of which approximately one third are children.  In this role, Dr. Chang oversees the delivery of high quality, evidence-based health care to our pediatric population.  With an emphasis on integrated, team-based care, Dr. Chang collaborates closely with the Chief Medical Officer and the chiefs of Behavioral Health, Dentistry, and Nursing to coordinate multi-disciplinary pediatric focused care.  Dr. Chang also serves as the On Site Medical Director of Connecticut Pediatrics @ CHC in Hartford as well as a clinical preceptor in our pediatric APRN residency program.

Dr. Chang earned his undergraduate degree in psychobiology at Yale College.  Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Chang served in the first Teach For America corps and taught science to eight graders in Brooklyn, NY, where he was awarded the school’s Teacher of the Year Award in his first year.  He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed his pediatrics residency at the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital.  With over two decades of experience, Dr. Chang has cared for children in a number of roles including pediatric hospitalist, urgent care physician, and primary care provider.  He was voted Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Doctors in Pediatrics in 2018 and 2019.  He was also voted Inside New Jersey Magazine’s, Top Doctors for Children’s Health in 2015 to 2018.

Veena Channamsetty, MD

Dr. Veena Channamsetty is the Chief Medical Officer of Community Health Center, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for the clinical leadership of a large staff of medical providers and caregivers for Connecticut’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. She is responsible for the delivery of evidence-based medical standards, the medical staff recruitment and retention, and provider affairs. Dr. Channamsetty oversees the clinical and non-clinical training, orientation, and onboarding for all new CHC medical providers. With the vision of a stable and solid medical staff, Dr. Channamsetty coordinates clinical care with provider professional interests, promoting provider well-being and work-life balance, overseeing clinical and non-clinical affairs of Physicians, APRNs, and Physician Assistants. Dr. Channamsetty is the President of the Medical Staff and the Chair of the Medical Quality Improvement Committee. She is a clinical preceptor for the APRN residency.  Dr. Channamsetty works closely with the chiefs of Behavior Health, Dentistry, and Nursing to promote interprofessional and team based care. She is responsible for ensuring Joint Commission and Patient Centered Medical Home compliance throughout CHC.

Robert Block, CPA

Robert Block, CPA is the Chief Financial Officer of Community Health Center, Inc. In this role, Bob is responsible for all CHC financial operations, revenue cycle, supply chain, payroll and treasury services.

Bob brings over 30 years of experience in finance, accounting, and operations. He previously served as Vice President of Finance at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Chief Financial Officer of the Jewish Home for the Aged, Chief Administrative Officer at the APT Foundation, Director of Finance at American Medical Response, Manager: Budget and Finance at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and CEO of The AuctionBlocks (a company he founded and ran for ten years).

Bob obtained his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in Public Policy from the Graduate School of Fine Arts of the University of Pennsylvania. Bob was Controller of a behavioral health research group (Center for the Study of Adult Development, later Integra Inc.) during his final four years at Penn. He subsequently earned his CPA license at Arthur Young and Company (currently Ernst & Young).Bob is an avid skier and golfer, as well as an antique collector. He has written eight books for Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and appeared on numerous radio and television programs including Martha Stuart Living and Storage Wars.

Dena M. Castricone, JD, CIPP/US, CIPM

Dena M. Castricone, JD, CIPP/US, CIPM joined Community Health Center, Inc. as General Counsel and Chief of Privacy following her time as partner at Murtha Cullina LLP, practicing in areas of health care and privacy. Prior to joining Murtha Cullina LLP in 2003, she clerked for the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

Dena brings more than 15 years of private practice experience to the Community Health Center.  Throughout her career, she has counseled health care providers on a broad range of regulatory compliance, risk management and day-to-day operational issues as well as represented providers in court and before state and federal administrative agencies.  Further, with an extensive background in privacy and cybersecurity, she has substantial experience navigating the privacy challenges in health care, including HIPAA compliance. 

The National Law Review recognized Dena as a “Go-To Thought Leader” in 2018 in the area of privacy and cyber security.  In 2016, she received the Alumni Public Interest Champion of Justice Award from the Roger Williams University School of Law and was also named a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation.  In addition to other awards and recognition, in 2011, Connecticut Magazine named Dena one of Connecticut’s 40 Under 40 and the National LGBT Bar Association recognized her as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40.

In 2015, Dena was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Office of State Ethics’ Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, of which she currently serves as the Chair.  In addition, Dena also is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, where she is a member of the Opioid Abuse Task Force, and the International Association of Privacy Professionals. 

Ho-Choong Chang, MD

Dr. Ho-Choong Chang is the Chief of Pediatrics of Community Health Center, Inc., the state’s largest Federally Qualified Health center providing care to over 145,000 medically underserved patients, of which approximately one third are children.  In this role, Dr. Chang oversees the delivery of high quality, evidence-based health care to our pediatric population.  With an emphasis on integrated, team-based care, Dr. Chang collaborates closely with the Chief Medical Officer and the chiefs of Behavioral Health, Dentistry, and Nursing to coordinate multi-disciplinary pediatric focused care.  Dr. Chang also serves as the On Site Medical Director of Connecticut Pediatrics @ CHC in Hartford as well as a clinical preceptor in our pediatric APRN residency program.

Dr. Chang earned his undergraduate degree in psychobiology at Yale College.  Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Chang served in the first Teach For America corps and taught science to eight graders in Brooklyn, NY, where he was awarded the school’s Teacher of the Year Award in his first year.  He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed his pediatrics residency at the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital.  With over two decades of experience, Dr. Chang has cared for children in a number of roles including pediatric hospitalist, urgent care physician, and primary care provider.  He was voted Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Doctors in Pediatrics in 2018 and 2019.  He was also voted Inside New Jersey Magazine’s, Top Doctors for Children’s Health in 2015 to 2018.

Veena Channamsetty, MD

Dr. Veena Channamsetty is the Chief Medical Officer of Community Health Center, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for the clinical leadership of a large staff of medical providers and caregivers for Connecticut’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. She is responsible for the delivery of evidence-based medical standards, the medical staff recruitment and retention, and provider affairs. Dr. Channamsetty oversees the clinical and non-clinical training, orientation, and onboarding for all new CHC medical providers. With the vision of a stable and solid medical staff, Dr. Channamsetty coordinates clinical care with provider professional interests, promoting provider well-being and work-life balance, overseeing clinical and non-clinical affairs of Physicians, APRNs, and Physician Assistants. Dr. Channamsetty is the President of the Medical Staff and the Chair of the Medical Quality Improvement Committee. She is a clinical preceptor for the APRN residency.  Dr. Channamsetty works closely with the chiefs of Behavior Health, Dentistry, and Nursing to promote interprofessional and team based care. She is responsible for ensuring Joint Commission and Patient Centered Medical Home compliance throughout CHC.

Nicholas Ciaburri

Director of Business Intelligence

April Joy Damian, PhD, MSc, CHPM, PMP

Associate Director, Weitzman Institute

Nicholas Ciaburri

Nicholas Ciaburri is the Director of Business Intelligence at Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC). He has been with CHC since 2011 and leads a team that has developed a business intelligence dashboard and reporting platform for the organization. The team delivers actionable data to CHC’s providers and leadership so that they can efficiently provide the highest quality of care possible. He also provides data to support the organization’s quality improvement and research initiatives. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Northeastern University.

Nicholas is currently a resident of Southington, CT.

April Joy Damian, PhD, MSc, CHPM, PMP

As Associate Director of the Weitzman Institute, Dr. Damian is responsible for providing leadership and supporting the growth and development of Weitzman's research team, with a strong emphasis on health equity. Dr. Damian concurrently has a faculty appointment in the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and serves as the Chair of the AcademyHealth Public Health Systems Research IG Advisory Board. Prior to joining CHC, Dr. Damian was Director of Quality Innovation at the National Quality Forum (NQF), a not-for-profit membership organization that works to catalyze healthcare improvement through quality measurement and reporting. While at NQF, Dr. Damian served as the in-house subject matter expert on social determinants of health and successfully secured $1.2 million in grant funding to lead quality measurement and implementation efforts to advance integration of social determinants of health in healthcare policy and clinical practice. Prior to joining NQF, Dr. Damian was awarded a NIH grant to serve as the Principal Investigator of the first mixed methods evaluation of SAMHSA’s trauma-informed care training intervention and learning collaborative. Her areas of expertise include implementation science, mixed methods, health equity, and mental/behavioral health, particularly trauma-informed care and resilience. She has also worked extensively in the area of integration of mental health services in community-based settings as a means of addressing disparities in mental health.

Dr. Damian completed her PhD in the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Masters in Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelors of Arts in Ethnic Studies, Highest Honors. She has worked with several reputable governing bodies, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Health Administration in Washington, DC, International Organization for Migration in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as local health departments, on policy and programs relating to improving healthcare access and quality for medically underserved communities. She has received numerous recognitions in honor of her role as a social change agent, including the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and an honorarium from the University of Delaware.

Leslie Gianelli

Director of PR and Communications

Marwan Haddad, MD

Medical Director, Center for Key Populations

Leslie Gianelli

Leslie Gianelli is Director of PR and Communications, responsible for promoting CHC’s message and brand to a variety of audiences, including media and the public. She manages a wide portfolio of internal and external communications, including messaging, thought leadership, social media, the website, and multi-media assets.

Leslie has deep experience in health care spanning nearly 20 years and several continents. Most recently, she served as Communications Director at AmeriCares, overseeing communications initiatives in the U.S. and globally. In this capacity she promoted the work of AmeriCares Free Clinics in Southern Connecticut and emergency response activities in the U.S., Japan, Haiti, India and several other countries. With the Connecticut Hospital Association, she led industry work groups focused on public relations, fundraising, and issues of concern to patients. Previous work with Jhpiego/Johns Hopkins University and the Global Health Council gave her the opportunity to travel to more than 40 countries and regularly engage with global health experts, advocating for programs addressing maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, malaria, and other diseases and conditions endemic to the developing world.

Leslie holds a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and is a member of the Connecticut Bar. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College cum laude with a degree in American Studies. She received the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association’s Medal of Honor and currently serves on the Association’s External Achievement Awards Committee. She is an active volunteer for U.S. Figure Skating as a member of the Judges Committee and a National Judge and Referee. Leslie is on the board of Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Skating Fund and Proud Nation, a Community Olympic Development Program, and is a past board member of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

Marwan Haddad, MD

Marwan Haddad is the Medical Director of the Center for Key Populations. He joined Community Health Center, Inc. in July 2006. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from McGill University. He completed his family medicine residency at University of Toronto and obtained his Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He is board certified in Family Medicine. He is certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine as an HIV specialist. He was also the recipient of the 2011 Primary Care Leadership Award presented by the Connecticut Center for Primary Care. Dr. Haddad is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Quinnipiac University. Since January 2012, Dr. Haddad has led the CHC Project ECHO HIV, Hepatitis C, and Buprenorphine programs which expand the integration of these programs not only within CHC but nationwide. This model of care utilizes didactic and case-based learning via video conferences with medical providers, offering ongoing support, consultation and guidance to aid in delivering care to the HIV, Hepatitis C, and opioid using populations. Moreover, Dr. Haddad has taught and lectured at state and national conferences on HIV, Hepatitis C, medication assisted treatment and substance use management, and integrated care. He has published research on the integration of medication assisted treatment such as buprenorphine in community health centers examining both substance use as well as primary care outcomes.

Nicholas Ciaburri

Nicholas Ciaburri is the Director of Business Intelligence at Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC). He has been with CHC since 2011 and leads a team that has developed a business intelligence dashboard and reporting platform for the organization. The team delivers actionable data to CHC’s providers and leadership so that they can efficiently provide the highest quality of care possible. He also provides data to support the organization’s quality improvement and research initiatives. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Northeastern University.

Nicholas is currently a resident of Southington, CT.

April Joy Damian, PhD, MSc, CHPM, PMP

As Associate Director of the Weitzman Institute, Dr. Damian is responsible for providing leadership and supporting the growth and development of Weitzman's research team, with a strong emphasis on health equity. Dr. Damian concurrently has a faculty appointment in the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and serves as the Chair of the AcademyHealth Public Health Systems Research IG Advisory Board. Prior to joining CHC, Dr. Damian was Director of Quality Innovation at the National Quality Forum (NQF), a not-for-profit membership organization that works to catalyze healthcare improvement through quality measurement and reporting. While at NQF, Dr. Damian served as the in-house subject matter expert on social determinants of health and successfully secured $1.2 million in grant funding to lead quality measurement and implementation efforts to advance integration of social determinants of health in healthcare policy and clinical practice. Prior to joining NQF, Dr. Damian was awarded a NIH grant to serve as the Principal Investigator of the first mixed methods evaluation of SAMHSA’s trauma-informed care training intervention and learning collaborative. Her areas of expertise include implementation science, mixed methods, health equity, and mental/behavioral health, particularly trauma-informed care and resilience. She has also worked extensively in the area of integration of mental health services in community-based settings as a means of addressing disparities in mental health.

Dr. Damian completed her PhD in the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Masters in Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelors of Arts in Ethnic Studies, Highest Honors. She has worked with several reputable governing bodies, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Health Administration in Washington, DC, International Organization for Migration in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as local health departments, on policy and programs relating to improving healthcare access and quality for medically underserved communities. She has received numerous recognitions in honor of her role as a social change agent, including the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and an honorarium from the University of Delaware.

Leslie Gianelli

Leslie Gianelli is Director of PR and Communications, responsible for promoting CHC’s message and brand to a variety of audiences, including media and the public. She manages a wide portfolio of internal and external communications, including messaging, thought leadership, social media, the website, and multi-media assets.

Leslie has deep experience in health care spanning nearly 20 years and several continents. Most recently, she served as Communications Director at AmeriCares, overseeing communications initiatives in the U.S. and globally. In this capacity she promoted the work of AmeriCares Free Clinics in Southern Connecticut and emergency response activities in the U.S., Japan, Haiti, India and several other countries. With the Connecticut Hospital Association, she led industry work groups focused on public relations, fundraising, and issues of concern to patients. Previous work with Jhpiego/Johns Hopkins University and the Global Health Council gave her the opportunity to travel to more than 40 countries and regularly engage with global health experts, advocating for programs addressing maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, malaria, and other diseases and conditions endemic to the developing world.

Leslie holds a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and is a member of the Connecticut Bar. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College cum laude with a degree in American Studies. She received the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association’s Medal of Honor and currently serves on the Association’s External Achievement Awards Committee. She is an active volunteer for U.S. Figure Skating as a member of the Judges Committee and a National Judge and Referee. Leslie is on the board of Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Skating Fund and Proud Nation, a Community Olympic Development Program, and is a past board member of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

Marwan Haddad, MD

Marwan Haddad is the Medical Director of the Center for Key Populations. He joined Community Health Center, Inc. in July 2006. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from McGill University. He completed his family medicine residency at University of Toronto and obtained his Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He is board certified in Family Medicine. He is certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine as an HIV specialist. He was also the recipient of the 2011 Primary Care Leadership Award presented by the Connecticut Center for Primary Care. Dr. Haddad is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Quinnipiac University. Since January 2012, Dr. Haddad has led the CHC Project ECHO HIV, Hepatitis C, and Buprenorphine programs which expand the integration of these programs not only within CHC but nationwide. This model of care utilizes didactic and case-based learning via video conferences with medical providers, offering ongoing support, consultation and guidance to aid in delivering care to the HIV, Hepatitis C, and opioid using populations. Moreover, Dr. Haddad has taught and lectured at state and national conferences on HIV, Hepatitis C, medication assisted treatment and substance use management, and integrated care. He has published research on the integration of medication assisted treatment such as buprenorphine in community health centers examining both substance use as well as primary care outcomes.

Kasey Harding-Wheeler

Director, Center for Key Populations

Yvette Highsmith-Francis

Vice President, Eastern Region

Kasey Harding-Wheeler

Ms. Harding-Wheeler began her career at CHC as the Director of the Ryan White Program. Since then, she has taken administrative and programmatic responsibility for Healthcare for the Homeless (WYA), Hepatitis C, and TEACH–BMT Programs. She was responsible for the development & implementation of CHC’s HIV prevention and PrEP programs, providing health care services for vulnerable populations.

Yvette Highsmith-Francis

Yvette is the Vice President of Community Health Center, Inc.’s Eastern Region. Yvette has worked with CHCI for 24 years in a variety of capacities. In her current role, she oversees eight of the fourteen CHCI locations in New Britain, Enfield, Hartford, Middletown, Clinton, Old Saybrook, New London and Groton as well as the School Based Health services across the state.

Yvette has been instrumental in the openings of the CHCI locations in Enfield, Waterbury and Bristol. In the early phases of her career, Yvette worked directly with countless individuals and families providing support to address the social determinants of health and to improve the quality of life for those she worked with.

Committed to the elimination of racial/ethnic health care disparities; Yvette works diligently to ensure that the community’s most vulnerable residents continue to have access to quality medical, dental, mental health and school-based services and that those services are delivered with dignity and respect. Yvette is actively engaged in the communities she serves and is committed to public and civic service in her personal time as well. Yvette currently oversees Community Advisory committees and is the co-chair of the PCMH+ Oversight Committee.

Yvette is a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive program as well as the Connecticut Health Foundation’s 2009 Health Leadership Fellows Program.

Yvette was a Martin Luther King Scholar at Long Island University and received her Master’s Degree in Management from Cambridge College. She has received recognition on the local, state and national level for her work with individuals living with HIV and AIDS. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work within CHCI and in the community at large.

Jane E. Hylan

Director of School-Based Services

Meredith Johnson

Chief of Staff

Jane E. Hylan

Managing more than 170 programs statewide, Jane enjoys the opportunity this position offers to oversee programs and staff that deliver barrier-free, comprehensive primary, dental and behavioral health care to students in a variety of Connecticut communities.
Hylan began her career in the human service field. For more than 20 years, she served as a member of the administrative team for an agency that supports people with developmental and physical disabilities. After completing her Master’s degree, Jane served as residential director at a residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed adolescents and taught middle school students at risk for failure.

Hylan earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at Salem State College in Salem, Mass., and a Master’s in public health from Southern Connecticut State University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Meredith Johnson

Meredith Johnson is the Chief of Staff of Community Health Center, Inc. In this role, Meredith is responsible for coordinating among different areas of the business, monitoring key cross-functional initiatives, projects, and commitments, and ensuring executive leadership is supported in implementing their strategic vision for the organization.

Meredith has experience in Fortune 500 companies, small business start-ups, and healthcare operations. She worked in human resources at Principal Financial Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and interned with the President of Abbott Northwestern Hospital before being selected as Yale New Haven Health’s Administrative Fellow for 2012-2014. Post fellowship, she was named Program Manager and launched the nation’s first Epic Tele-ICU program; the Tele-ICU was awarded the Joseph A. Zaccagnino Patient Safety and Clinical Quality Award at Yale New Haven Health and was featured in the National Symposium on Value Innovation at Yale, the national Epic Users Group Meeting (UGM), and the national Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Most recently she served as Yale New Haven Health’s inaugural Director of Telehealth where she authored the System’s $24 million telehealth business plan.

She graduated from Wartburg College summa cum laude with a degree in Business Administration. She completed subsequent master’s programs in Business Administration (Iowa State University) and Health Administration (the University of Iowa), receiving five named scholarships for academic achievement. She is trained as a Practical Process Facilitator and achieved her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Meredith is an active hot yogi, gardener, house remodeler, Iowa Hawkeyes fan, and proud member of Adrienne’s Circle, a women’s leadership group for healthcare executives.

Kasey Harding-Wheeler

Ms. Harding-Wheeler began her career at CHC as the Director of the Ryan White Program. Since then, she has taken administrative and programmatic responsibility for Healthcare for the Homeless (WYA), Hepatitis C, and TEACH–BMT Programs. She was responsible for the development & implementation of CHC’s HIV prevention and PrEP programs, providing health care services for vulnerable populations.

Yvette Highsmith-Francis

Yvette is the Vice President of Community Health Center, Inc.’s Eastern Region. Yvette has worked with CHCI for 24 years in a variety of capacities. In her current role, she oversees eight of the fourteen CHCI locations in New Britain, Enfield, Hartford, Middletown, Clinton, Old Saybrook, New London and Groton as well as the School Based Health services across the state.

Yvette has been instrumental in the openings of the CHCI locations in Enfield, Waterbury and Bristol. In the early phases of her career, Yvette worked directly with countless individuals and families providing support to address the social determinants of health and to improve the quality of life for those she worked with.

Committed to the elimination of racial/ethnic health care disparities; Yvette works diligently to ensure that the community’s most vulnerable residents continue to have access to quality medical, dental, mental health and school-based services and that those services are delivered with dignity and respect. Yvette is actively engaged in the communities she serves and is committed to public and civic service in her personal time as well. Yvette currently oversees Community Advisory committees and is the co-chair of the PCMH+ Oversight Committee.

Yvette is a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive program as well as the Connecticut Health Foundation’s 2009 Health Leadership Fellows Program.

Yvette was a Martin Luther King Scholar at Long Island University and received her Master’s Degree in Management from Cambridge College. She has received recognition on the local, state and national level for her work with individuals living with HIV and AIDS. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work within CHCI and in the community at large.

Jane E. Hylan

Managing more than 170 programs statewide, Jane enjoys the opportunity this position offers to oversee programs and staff that deliver barrier-free, comprehensive primary, dental and behavioral health care to students in a variety of Connecticut communities.
Hylan began her career in the human service field. For more than 20 years, she served as a member of the administrative team for an agency that supports people with developmental and physical disabilities. After completing her Master’s degree, Jane served as residential director at a residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed adolescents and taught middle school students at risk for failure.

Hylan earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at Salem State College in Salem, Mass., and a Master’s in public health from Southern Connecticut State University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Meredith Johnson

Meredith Johnson is the Chief of Staff of Community Health Center, Inc. In this role, Meredith is responsible for coordinating among different areas of the business, monitoring key cross-functional initiatives, projects, and commitments, and ensuring executive leadership is supported in implementing their strategic vision for the organization.

Meredith has experience in Fortune 500 companies, small business start-ups, and healthcare operations. She worked in human resources at Principal Financial Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and interned with the President of Abbott Northwestern Hospital before being selected as Yale New Haven Health’s Administrative Fellow for 2012-2014. Post fellowship, she was named Program Manager and launched the nation’s first Epic Tele-ICU program; the Tele-ICU was awarded the Joseph A. Zaccagnino Patient Safety and Clinical Quality Award at Yale New Haven Health and was featured in the National Symposium on Value Innovation at Yale, the national Epic Users Group Meeting (UGM), and the national Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Most recently she served as Yale New Haven Health’s inaugural Director of Telehealth where she authored the System’s $24 million telehealth business plan.

She graduated from Wartburg College summa cum laude with a degree in Business Administration. She completed subsequent master’s programs in Business Administration (Iowa State University) and Health Administration (the University of Iowa), receiving five named scholarships for academic achievement. She is trained as a Practical Process Facilitator and achieved her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Meredith is an active hot yogi, gardener, house remodeler, Iowa Hawkeyes fan, and proud member of Adrienne’s Circle, a women’s leadership group for healthcare executives.

Timothy Kearney, PhD

Chief Behavioral Health Officer

Karen Koproske

Vice President of Practice Administration

Timothy Kearney, PhD

Dr. Kearney earned his BA with a combined major in Psychology and Spanish Literature at Yale University and pursued graduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary where he earned his MA (Theology) from the Graduate School of Theology and his Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) from the Graduate School of Psychology. He has also completed the post graduate Primary Care Behavioral Health training program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. He is a licensed psychologist in Connecticut, New York, and California.

He joined the Community Health Center behavioral health staff in 1998. He is the author of Caring for Sexually Abused Children: A Handbook for Families and Churches (Intervarsity Press, 2001). In addition to administrative and clinical leadership of the Behavioral Health programs at CHC, Dr. Kearney supervises and trains postdoctoral psychology residents, co-leads psychotherapy groups with students and younger staff to train them in the provision of child group therapy, and provides direct client care with the clinical focus of providing care to children and adolescents and their families, especially those impacted by medical illness, trauma, and abuse.

Karen Koproske

Karen Koproske is the Vice President of Practice Administration at Community Health Center, Inc. She is accountable for all aspects of practice management in support of the strategic mission, including excellence in service delivery, patient experience and access. Her role is to lead cross-functional projects to improve practice performance across all health centers.

Prior to joining CHC, Karen was most recently with the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she served for 20 years as director of the Specialty Group, CCMC’s physician group practice. During that time, she helped grow the practice from 60 to more than 200 providers. Karen holds a B.S. from Boston University and an MBA from Bryant University.

Karen resides in Canton, CT, and enjoys yoga, biking, and kayaking on her free weekends.

Michael Posocco

Director of Facilities

Michael S. Rohde

Director of Community Relations

Michael Posocco

Mike was Director of Facilities for Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and Westerly Hospital within the Yale-New Haven Health system. There he managed a staff of 48 and directed all aspects of facilities planning, operations and compliance and provided oversight of utilities, engineering and safety services. His YNHH colleagues noted that he is a goal-oriented team builder.

Mike has also worked as Director of Facilities and Engineering at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and held the same position at Johnson Memorial Medical Center in Stafford Springs. At Johnson Memorial he was promoted to director based on his leadership responding to a generator failure and patient evacuation during Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Michael S. Rohde

Michael Rohde joined the Community Health Center, Inc. in 2011 after serving 40 years in Executive Management positions in non-profit agencies serving children and families. Mike’s role with CHC is to engage with community providers to improve health care access to community resources, assist with CHC events and activities, help to develop robust site Advisory Councils, and assist with service expansion.

Mike Rohde’s leadership in the field of child welfare included tenures as President of the Connecticut Child Caring Association; Chairman of the Connecticut Association of Non-Profits; Chairman of the Connecticut Association of Human Services, and Vice Chair of the Connecticut Commission on Children. As a community leader, Rohde provided leadership for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life; Meriden Puerto Rican Festival; Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast, Meriden Black Expo; Project Graduation, and the Meriden Farmers Market.

In 1989, Rohde was elected to the Meriden City Council serving 18 years before being elected for three terms as Mayor of Meriden. Mike played a key role in the Flood Control Project, the downtown redevelopment effort, and the establishment of the Linear Trails.

Rohde received his B.A. in Economics and Psychology at St. John Fisher College, and Masters in Human Services Administration at Antioch University.

Timothy Kearney, PhD

Dr. Kearney earned his BA with a combined major in Psychology and Spanish Literature at Yale University and pursued graduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary where he earned his MA (Theology) from the Graduate School of Theology and his Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) from the Graduate School of Psychology. He has also completed the post graduate Primary Care Behavioral Health training program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. He is a licensed psychologist in Connecticut, New York, and California.

He joined the Community Health Center behavioral health staff in 1998. He is the author of Caring for Sexually Abused Children: A Handbook for Families and Churches (Intervarsity Press, 2001). In addition to administrative and clinical leadership of the Behavioral Health programs at CHC, Dr. Kearney supervises and trains postdoctoral psychology residents, co-leads psychotherapy groups with students and younger staff to train them in the provision of child group therapy, and provides direct client care with the clinical focus of providing care to children and adolescents and their families, especially those impacted by medical illness, trauma, and abuse.

Karen Koproske

Karen Koproske is the Vice President of Practice Administration at Community Health Center, Inc. She is accountable for all aspects of practice management in support of the strategic mission, including excellence in service delivery, patient experience and access. Her role is to lead cross-functional projects to improve practice performance across all health centers.

Prior to joining CHC, Karen was most recently with the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she served for 20 years as director of the Specialty Group, CCMC’s physician group practice. During that time, she helped grow the practice from 60 to more than 200 providers. Karen holds a B.S. from Boston University and an MBA from Bryant University.

Karen resides in Canton, CT, and enjoys yoga, biking, and kayaking on her free weekends.

Michael Posocco

Mike was Director of Facilities for Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and Westerly Hospital within the Yale-New Haven Health system. There he managed a staff of 48 and directed all aspects of facilities planning, operations and compliance and provided oversight of utilities, engineering and safety services. His YNHH colleagues noted that he is a goal-oriented team builder.

Mike has also worked as Director of Facilities and Engineering at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and held the same position at Johnson Memorial Medical Center in Stafford Springs. At Johnson Memorial he was promoted to director based on his leadership responding to a generator failure and patient evacuation during Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Michael S. Rohde

Michael Rohde joined the Community Health Center, Inc. in 2011 after serving 40 years in Executive Management positions in non-profit agencies serving children and families. Mike’s role with CHC is to engage with community providers to improve health care access to community resources, assist with CHC events and activities, help to develop robust site Advisory Councils, and assist with service expansion.

Mike Rohde’s leadership in the field of child welfare included tenures as President of the Connecticut Child Caring Association; Chairman of the Connecticut Association of Non-Profits; Chairman of the Connecticut Association of Human Services, and Vice Chair of the Connecticut Commission on Children. As a community leader, Rohde provided leadership for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life; Meriden Puerto Rican Festival; Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast, Meriden Black Expo; Project Graduation, and the Meriden Farmers Market.

In 1989, Rohde was elected to the Meriden City Council serving 18 years before being elected for three terms as Mayor of Meriden. Mike played a key role in the Flood Control Project, the downtown redevelopment effort, and the establishment of the Linear Trails.

Rohde received his B.A. in Economics and Psychology at St. John Fisher College, and Masters in Human Services Administration at Antioch University.

Amy Taylor

Vice President, Western Region

Sheela Tummala, DDS, MPH

Chief Dental Officer

Amy Taylor

Amy Taylor is the Vice President of the Community Health Center, Inc.’s Western Region, which includes mobile, school based and fixed sites in Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury, Meriden, Bristol and Waterbury. Amy joined CHC in 2011 because of her belief in promoting the health and wellness of all people, including those typically marginalized and disenfranchised from health care. At CHC, Amy has been actively involved in the daily operations of the practices, with a focus on making improvements in workflows and processes to enhance patient experience and improve health outcomes. Amy also serves as PI on the All of Us Research Program, which is a National Institutes for Health initiative that seeks to accelerate health research by collecting multiple data points from one million people living in the United States, creating the largest health data resource ever.   

Amy is the Director of Client Relations for CeCN, the Community eConsult Network, a fully owned subsidiary of CHCI.  In this capacity, Amy works with partners across the country to implement and sustain their utilization of asynchronous electronic consult services, eConsults.  eConsults provide a link between specialty medicine and primary care, which allows for the transfer of knowledge from a specialist to the PCP and results in increased patient satisfaction, improved clinical outcomes, and lower cost of care.

Recognizing that the social determinants of health play a significant role in the wellness of a community, Amy is engaged with many local and regional associations that aim to improve the social and economic conditions of the cities within the Western Region.  She leads Community Advisory Councils in each site in the region and is the co-chairperson for the Oversight Committee for the PCMH+ Initiative at CHCI. Amy graduated from Bowdoin College as a James Bowdoin Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa and is a Geiger Gibson Capstone Fellow from George Washington University and a Dartmouth-trained Microsystems coach.

Sheela Tummala, DDS, MPH

Sheela Tummala, DDS, MPH is the Chief Dental Officer for the Community Health Center, Inc. Prior to joining CHC in 2006, Dr. Tummala worked as a general dentist at Meri Care Dental in Meriden and also served as an onsite dental director since 2006. Dr. Tummala also worked in her own private practice in Woodbury until 2015. 
 
In her roll at CHC, Dr. Tummala treats patients, supervises staff, and maintains the goals and needs of the staff. Dr. Tummala also serves as the Dental Quality Improvement Chairman for CHC, where she is responsible for conducting meetings, writing policies, maintaining quality improvement, and assessing the needs for quality improvement from the patient and staff perspective. 

Dr. Tummala has served on a number of committees such as the Electronic Dental Records Committee where she was responsible for the creation of templates in open dental and consent forms. Dr. Tummala, who has a passion for research, was involved in the research study “Side effects of Triazolam in Children” published in American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 21:1, 1999. She is also involved in organizing many events such as the Mission of Mercy events at CHC.
 
Dr. Tummala completed her DDS degree at New York University and her General Practice Residency at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, N.Y. She also completed her MPH at Western Kentucky University. 
 
She says her favorite part of providing dental services to CHC patients is “Patients appreciating the work you do for them, changing their smiles, and helping to take them out of pain.”

Dr. Tummala also loves to sing, dance, hike and cook! 

Matt Vinikas

Chief Operating Officer, CeCN

Matt Vinikas

Matt Vinikas is a seasoned health care executive and current Chief Operating Officer for CeCN.  He has been a leader of innovative health initiatives since his graduation from Wesleyan University.  In the early 1970’s, he was an organizer of the Community Health Center, Inc., now one the largest FQHCs in the country.  After leaving CHCI in 1977, Mr. Vinikas moved to West Virginia to organize rural health delivery and financing systems, including serving as Executive Director of the Associated Clinics of Appalachia, a 7-state coalition of non-profit primary care organizations and managed care entities.

He moved to Boston in 1986, helping to organize the Neighborhood Health Plan as its second employee and Chief Operating Officer.  NHP was a non-profit collaborative effort of the Community Health Centers in Massachusetts, and one of the country’s first Medicaid managed care plans.  He led the effort to replicate the model, working with the primary care association of Rhode Island to organize the Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.

Mr. Vinikas is a co-founder of Core Health, Inc. which provided technical and executive support to non-profit and government entities in multiple states in support of primary care centers and efforts to bring managed care services to Medicaid populations.  Along with other Core Health principles, Mr. Vinikas was co-founder of Senior Whole Health, Inc., one of the first managed care plans to provide care solely to the dually eligible population.  Senior Whole Health was recognized in 2008 by Inc. Magazine as the country’s fastest growing company. 

Before returning full time to CHCI and CeCN in 2017, he served as an FQHC site director, worked to organize development of a non-profit dual eligible plan in Illinois and consulted on Medicaid ACO development with both managed care and provider entities.  Mr. Vinikas currently resides in Boulder, CO and works primarily from the Denver, CO Weitzman Institute offices.

Amy Taylor

Amy Taylor is the Vice President of the Community Health Center, Inc.’s Western Region, which includes mobile, school based and fixed sites in Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury, Meriden, Bristol and Waterbury. Amy joined CHC in 2011 because of her belief in promoting the health and wellness of all people, including those typically marginalized and disenfranchised from health care. At CHC, Amy has been actively involved in the daily operations of the practices, with a focus on making improvements in workflows and processes to enhance patient experience and improve health outcomes. Amy also serves as PI on the All of Us Research Program, which is a National Institutes for Health initiative that seeks to accelerate health research by collecting multiple data points from one million people living in the United States, creating the largest health data resource ever.   

Amy is the Director of Client Relations for CeCN, the Community eConsult Network, a fully owned subsidiary of CHCI.  In this capacity, Amy works with partners across the country to implement and sustain their utilization of asynchronous electronic consult services, eConsults.  eConsults provide a link between specialty medicine and primary care, which allows for the transfer of knowledge from a specialist to the PCP and results in increased patient satisfaction, improved clinical outcomes, and lower cost of care.

Recognizing that the social determinants of health play a significant role in the wellness of a community, Amy is engaged with many local and regional associations that aim to improve the social and economic conditions of the cities within the Western Region.  She leads Community Advisory Councils in each site in the region and is the co-chairperson for the Oversight Committee for the PCMH+ Initiative at CHCI. Amy graduated from Bowdoin College as a James Bowdoin Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa and is a Geiger Gibson Capstone Fellow from George Washington University and a Dartmouth-trained Microsystems coach.

Sheela Tummala, DDS, MPH

Sheela Tummala, DDS, MPH is the Chief Dental Officer for the Community Health Center, Inc. Prior to joining CHC in 2006, Dr. Tummala worked as a general dentist at Meri Care Dental in Meriden and also served as an onsite dental director since 2006. Dr. Tummala also worked in her own private practice in Woodbury until 2015. 
 
In her roll at CHC, Dr. Tummala treats patients, supervises staff, and maintains the goals and needs of the staff. Dr. Tummala also serves as the Dental Quality Improvement Chairman for CHC, where she is responsible for conducting meetings, writing policies, maintaining quality improvement, and assessing the needs for quality improvement from the patient and staff perspective. 

Dr. Tummala has served on a number of committees such as the Electronic Dental Records Committee where she was responsible for the creation of templates in open dental and consent forms. Dr. Tummala, who has a passion for research, was involved in the research study “Side effects of Triazolam in Children” published in American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 21:1, 1999. She is also involved in organizing many events such as the Mission of Mercy events at CHC.
 
Dr. Tummala completed her DDS degree at New York University and her General Practice Residency at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, N.Y. She also completed her MPH at Western Kentucky University. 
 
She says her favorite part of providing dental services to CHC patients is “Patients appreciating the work you do for them, changing their smiles, and helping to take them out of pain.”

Dr. Tummala also loves to sing, dance, hike and cook! 

Matt Vinikas

Matt Vinikas is a seasoned health care executive and current Chief Operating Officer for CeCN.  He has been a leader of innovative health initiatives since his graduation from Wesleyan University.  In the early 1970’s, he was an organizer of the Community Health Center, Inc., now one the largest FQHCs in the country.  After leaving CHCI in 1977, Mr. Vinikas moved to West Virginia to organize rural health delivery and financing systems, including serving as Executive Director of the Associated Clinics of Appalachia, a 7-state coalition of non-profit primary care organizations and managed care entities.

He moved to Boston in 1986, helping to organize the Neighborhood Health Plan as its second employee and Chief Operating Officer.  NHP was a non-profit collaborative effort of the Community Health Centers in Massachusetts, and one of the country’s first Medicaid managed care plans.  He led the effort to replicate the model, working with the primary care association of Rhode Island to organize the Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.

Mr. Vinikas is a co-founder of Core Health, Inc. which provided technical and executive support to non-profit and government entities in multiple states in support of primary care centers and efforts to bring managed care services to Medicaid populations.  Along with other Core Health principles, Mr. Vinikas was co-founder of Senior Whole Health, Inc., one of the first managed care plans to provide care solely to the dually eligible population.  Senior Whole Health was recognized in 2008 by Inc. Magazine as the country’s fastest growing company. 

Before returning full time to CHCI and CeCN in 2017, he served as an FQHC site director, worked to organize development of a non-profit dual eligible plan in Illinois and consulted on Medicaid ACO development with both managed care and provider entities.  Mr. Vinikas currently resides in Boulder, CO and works primarily from the Denver, CO Weitzman Institute offices.